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Journal of Cold War Studies 5.1 (2003) 1-2

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Editor's Note

As we move into Volume 5 of the journal, I am pleased to begin it by presenting the first of three special issues on the collapse of the Soviet Union. The articles for these issues were chosen from a set of presentations I organized a few years ago at Harvard University with financial support from the John M. Olin Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation. I put together a program and sent a detailed set of questions to each contributor, who then prepared a paper on the topic I had assigned. Following a series of sixteen presentations and a concluding roundtable discussion, I gave further detailed comments to each contributor, who took account of these when embarking on revisions. I wanted to ensure that we addressed the topic as thoroughly as possible from all conceivable angles, and that the papers would complement rather than duplicate one another. After the revisions were completed, I selected the papers that were most appropriate for a formal collection and sent them out for external review. Because the papers I chose had already undergone extensive scrutiny and revision, they easily made it through the review process. Hence, I am delighted that we are able to publish three collections of articles that will probe the subject in great depth. The next special issue on this topic will be published in Volume 5, Number 4 (Fall 2003), and the final one will appear in Volume 6, Number 1 (Winter 2004).

The stringency of our external review process has meant that only a relatively small percentage (20-25 percent) of manuscripts submitted to the journal are ultimately accepted. Despite this threshold, the steady increase in the number of manuscripts we have been receiving has resulted in a larger number of articles awaiting publication, as well as a sizable (and growing) accumulation of book reviews. To accommodate the expanded volume, we have agreed with MIT Press to increase the length of the journal. Up to now, the target length per issue has been 144 pages (a target that, admittedly, we often exceeded). We have now raised that to 160 pages, and we are considering a further increase for future volumes. The extra pages will allow us to continue publishing items on a timely basis and to feature reviews of a wide range of books relating to Cold War studies.

As this issue went to press, we learned of the death of Franklyn Holzman, a professor emeritus of economics at Tufts University and a longtime associate of Harvard's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies (formerly known as the Russian Research Center). Frank was a highly gifted economist who made many valuable contributions to the study of taxation, international trade, inflation, and the peculiarities of Soviet-style economies. Frank's first seminal contribution to the field came in 1955 when he published Soviet Taxation: The Fiscal and Monetary Problems of a Centrally Planned Economy, which was based on the doctoral dissertation he wrote at Harvard in the early 1950s under the renowned economist Alexander Gershchenkron. The book [End Page 1] showed that the Soviet turnover tax led to a regressive redistribution of income in the Soviet Union, transferring money from relatively poor people to the relatively affluent.

In the early 1970s Frank published a number of crucial works on foreign trade within the Soviet bloc, showing that prices for intrabloc trade were a good deal higher than they would have been if the Communist states had been free to trade with Western countries. The insights that Frank developed on this subject, notably in Foreign Trade Under Central Planning (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974), remain enormously influential even now. In the late 1970s and 1980s Frank took an active part in public-policy debates, especially regarding the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's estimates of the level of Soviet military spending. Frank argued that the dollar-cost estimates conducted by the CIA—at Congress's request—were skewed by an index-number effect and were therefore of very little, if any, use...